Why have neo-liberal economic ideas been so resilient since the 1980s, despite major intellectual challenges, crippling financial and political crises, and failure to deliver on their promises? Why do they repeatedly return, not only to survive but to thrive? This groundbreaking book proposes five lines of analysis to explain the dynamics of both continuity and change in neo-liberal ideas: the flexibility of neo-liberalism's core principles; the gaps between neo-liberal rhetoric and reality; the strength of neo-liberal discourse in debates; the power of interests in the strategic use of ideas; and the force of institutions in the embedding of neo-liberal ideas. The book's highly distinguished group of authors shows how these possible explanations apply across the most important domains - fiscal policy, the role of the state, welfare and labour markets, regulation of competition and financial markets, management of the Euro, and corporate governance - in the European Union and across European countries.
Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University and Founding Director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Europe. Mark Thatcher is Professor in Comparative and International Politics in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Preface; 1. Theorizing ideational continuity: the resilience of neo-liberal ideas in Europe Vivien A. Schmidt and Mark Thatcher; Part I. Economy, State, and Society: 2. Neo-liberalism and fiscal conservatism Andrew Gamble; 3. Welfare-state transformations: from neo-liberalism to liberal neo-welfarism? Maurizio Ferrera; 4. The state: the bete noire of neo-liberalism or its greatest conquest? Vivien A. Schmidt and Cornelia Woll; Part II. Neo-liberalism in Major Policy Domains: 5. The collapse of the Brussels-Frankfurt consensus and the future of the euro Erik Jones; 6. Supranational neo-liberalization: the EU's regulatory model of economic markets Mark Thatcher; 7. Resilient neo-liberalism in European financial regulation Daniel Mugge; 8. Neo-liberalism and the working class hero: from organized to flexible labour markets Cathie Jo Martin; 9. European corporate governance: is there an alternative to neo-liberalism? Sigurt Vitols; Part III. Neo-liberalism in Comparative Perspective: 10. The resilience of Anglo-liberalism in the absence of growth: the UK and Irish cases Colin Hay and Nicola J. Smith; 11. Germany and Sweden in the crisis: re-coordination or resilient liberalism? Gerhard Schnyder and Gregory Jackson; 12. State transformation in Italy and France: technocratic versus political leadership on the road from non-liberalism to neo-liberalism Elisabetta Gualmini and Vivien A. Schmidt; 13. Reassessing the neo-liberal development model in Central and Eastern Europe Mitchell A. Orenstein; Part IV. Conclusion: 14. Conclusion: explaining the resilience of neo-liberalism and possible pathways out Mark Thatcher and Vivien A. Schmidt.